Are New Zealand Software Patents Going the Way of the Dodo Bird?

While the EPO Board of Appeals was busy repelling an obstensible attempt to roll back patent protection for software in Europe (see my May 30 posting) the anti-sotware-patent forces were busy at work in New Zealand.  According to a recent account, a bill pending to update the New Zealand patent statute has now been amended to contain a provision to essentially bar patent protection for software.  The bill does contain however an exception, allowing patents for software “embedded” in a device.  Also, I understand that if you have a software patent currently pending in New Zealand it will not be affected by the proposed change in software patent eligibility — i.e. pending and issued patents will be grandfathered in.

Jim Hallenbeck (Schwegman, Lundberg & Woessner, PA – jhallenbeck@slwip.com), who has been following the developments, reports that efforts are under way by some New Zealand software companies to block or modify this proposed provision.

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